Sunday, October 28, 2012

Tough Shootout Loss In Yorkton For Hawks:

The Hawks got 2 goals from Tad Kozun, and a couple assists from Arti Kalashnikov but failed to pick up the 2 points in Yorkton on Saturday night.

Kozun opened the scoring just over a minute in to the game, finding the back of the net off a goal mouth scramble from an Artsiom Kalashnikov shot. But Yorkton would come back 7 minutes later with goal-king Jeremy Johnson adding his first of two n the night. Yorkton would take the 14-11 shot advantage in to the break, but the teams were deadlocked at 1 apiece.

In the second, deep inside the offensive zone Grant Jensen looked to be exchanging words with a Terrier when the Yorkton player decided to turn and skate away while Jensen slashed his stick out of his hands. With the Hawks shorthanded, Dustin Skilliter landed the puck on his stick for a breakaway but couldn't beat Kale Thomson. The Terriers went back on a 2-on-2 but couldn't convert, and then Jeff Datoff threw the puck up in the air to Tad Kozun, who walked in alone and beat Thomson 5-hole to put his team up 2-1 with his 6th of season, all while remaining shorthanded. 5 minutes later, the Hawks were at it again, as Brady Zerr walked over the blue line and fired a beamer over the glove of Thomson and in to the back of the net. The Hawks got outshot 12-6 in the period, but 2 goals put them in front by a score of 3-1.

Kailum Gervais beat Davis Jones early in the 3rd to get Yorkton within 1, with the assists to Zak Majkowski(who seemed to be after everyone physically) and Johnson with his 2nd point of the night. Both teams were less than impressive on the power play, combining for 0-for-9 on the night, so it would be a even strength goal that tied the game; as Jeremy Johnson notched his 2nd and 11th of the year. The Hawks only managed 4 3rd period shots, to Yorkton's 16. The teams would head to overtime after the final minutes saw several stoppages that gave the players chances to mentally set up a big chance late in the game.

Overtime wouldn't see a whole lot of chances for either sides, but the Hawks netminder Davis Jones made several HUGE saves not just in OT, but throughout this game to give his team a chance to win. He would finish the night with 41 saves(and somehow got left off the 3 stars).

In the shootout, Derek Falloon and Jesse Bernard exchanged goals, before Arti Kalashnikov and Zak Majkowski both couldn't score. After a Jeremy Johnson goal, Tad Kozun needed to score to keep the game going, but he fanned on the shot and the Terriers bench erupted to the ice, improving to 7-0-0-0 on home ice. Meanwhile, the Hawks road struggles continued, dropping to 0-3-0-2 away from the Cage.

For the Hawks, I personally felt like it was one of the better games of the year, leading up to the third period. I had nothing bad to say about any individual player, although a few plays almost cost the team the game prior to the shootout. Tad Kozun, Tayler Balog and Jesse Bernard were the top forwards in my eyes, with Dustin Skilliter also having a gutsy effort. All 6 d-men had sound games, and netminder Davis Jones let his 41 stops speak for themselves. I couldn't believe some of the saves he made, I will get audio up on Sunday at some point.

The Hawks will embark on a 3 game road trip next weekend, but before they head out they have to host Flin Flon on Tuesday night. The game will begin at 7:30 down at the Centennial Arena, and the Hawks hope to see the Cage packed as the Bombers are one of the SJHL's top teams and it should make for a great game.

Best of luck to Tayler Balog at the World Junior A Challenge Camp, which begins at 6:00 PM tonight in Calgary. If the next few days go well for Tayler, he will travel to Nova Scotia for the WJAC which begins November 5th. Go get 'em, Balog!

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